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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Monday, April 17, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.1 percent while the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in February.

  • The leading index increased slightly in February following a sharp increase in January. Real exchange rate was the largest contributor to this month’s small gain in the leading index, offset by declines in stock prices and oil prices in February. With February’s small gain, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed to about a 1.0 to 2.0 percent annual rate in recent months, down from the rapid growth of an average of over 10 percent through the end of the third quarter of 2005. However, the strength among the leading indicators has continued to be somewhat widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index decreased slightly in February, and it is now on a flat to slightly declining trend. In addition, most of the weakness in the coincident index comes from the retail sales component in recent months. At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 2.9 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from the 4.8 percent rate in the third quarter. Despite short-term volatility, the recent behavior of the leading index suggests that economic growth should continue in the near term, but it's likely to be slow to moderate.

Leading Indicators. Four of the six components that make up the leading index increased in February. The positive contributors to the index—from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one—are the (inverted) real exchange rate, net insufficient inventories, the (inverted) federal funds rate, and the industrial production construction component*. The US refiners’ acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil and stock prices decreased in February.

With the 0.1 percent increase in February, the leading index now stands at 156.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.8 percent in January and declined 0.3 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 0.8 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in February. The positive contributors —from the larger positive contributor to the smaller one—are number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries) and the (inverted) unemployment rate. Industrial production and retail sales*declined in February.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in February, the coincident index now stands at 116.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in January and decreased 0.2 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 0.3 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 37.5 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. April 13, 2006. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES:Series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates include industrial production - construction component. The series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates include retail sales.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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